Books of Blood Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
The playwright, artist, film producer and horror-master extraordinaire makes his original six paperback collections from 1984 and 1985 available in one monstrous volume with Clive Barker's Books of Blood. Barker not only gave "his blessing" to the reprinting of stories like "Down, Satan!" and "Pig Blood Blues," writes consulting editor Peter Atkins he also designed the cover and provided the creepy jacket photo.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
This Stealth edition (www.stealthpress.com) marks the first time that Barker's six horror books published in 1984 and 1985 have been released as a single volume the way the author intended. Barker continues to draw readers, so this is definitely worth adding to horror collections.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Stephen King has a quote on the back describing what he thought of the book saying - so frightening at times I actually had to read it in company. This applies to several select stories as much of his writing is imaginative, original, and will have readers spellbound. A must for every horror aficionado and soon to be matched by myself; a fellow horror writer from Canada coming to Amazon soon.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
To this day, the books of blood series have made an impact on my and how I judge other thriller or horror stories (books, short stories and movies).
I seem to recall that the introduction to book 1 said something to the effect of "Books are a lot like people, wherever they're opened, they're red".
I knew from just that intro I was in for a treat.*grin*
I've recommended this series of books to many people over the years and have thought about re-reading them again as it's been about 20 years! These novellas are, in my opinion, the best stuff Clive Barker has written and is on my top 20 list of all time favorite books.
The initial offering, The Book of Blood, stands out as a unique ghost story in its own right, but it also serves as a provocative abstract for everything Barker sought to accomplish with these stories (and I should note that he originally wanted all of the volumes of Books of Blood to be published together in one book). After this enticing introductory tale, we head below the streets of New York to sneak a ride on The Midnight Meat Train. This story is vintage Clive Barker. While it is full of blood and gore, it is clearly not a case of gore for gore's sake. Barker isn't trying to drown the reader in blood as a means to hide any lack of skill on his part because the skill is undeniably there for all to see. This is a story that you will not soon forget.
Barker really changes his line of attack in the next story, The Yattering and Jack. The Yattering is a demon sent to torment and destroy the sanity of a little nobody named Jack. In this dark comedy farce, the poor Yattering does everything he can think of to make the unshakeable Jack miserable, driving himself almost mad in the process. I think of The Yattering and Jack as an amusing sort of Barker bedtime story. Pig Blood Blues forces the casual reader to once again don hip hugger boots for a trek into gore and depravity. At a certain school for wayward boys, a monster resides in a pig sty on the campus farm, a menacing sow who thinks that pigs are more equal than humans; in this place, the other white meat is not pork. Sex, Death and Starshine is a good story, but it alone among these offerings seems to be lacking a certain oomph. The idea behind the story is fantastic, however, as it touches upon the needs of the dead to be entertained every once in a while.
Easily, the most impressive story told in these pages is In the Hills, the Cities. The impact of this pioneering, bold, brilliant story is akin to that of Shirley Jackson's unforgettable tale The Lottery. Two male lovers touring the hidden sights of Yugoslavia become the reluctant witnesses to a sight few men could ever even conceive of when a unique traditional battle between the citizens of two adjacent towns takes an unexpected and ever-so-destructive turn. If you want to know what the big deal about Clive Barker is, this is the story you need to read.
This first volume of Barker's horror-laden creations left no doubt in the minds of most horror fans that fresh blood had arrived to increase the vitality and further the maturing process of a genre always failing to win the widespread respect it deserves. While Barker's dark visions will not suit the taste of even some traditional horror fans, he more than deserves a choice seat at the table of the horror gods.
"Meat Train" is the first story in the Books of Blood (after a short introductory story), and it sets the stage for the masterworks to follow.
Think of it.....sometimes people ask themselves questions like....I wonder where the subway trains go after they stop running at the end of each night. Barker takes this simple premise and weaves a tale so terrifying and clever that I have yet to be more impacted by another piece of fiction.
The stories in Books of Blood are short but they say more than most stories 10 times thier size. This is the beauty of the short story and the genius of Barker's writing. This collection of all six volumes of the original Books of Blood is the best investment that a horror fiction fan can make. These books are modern classics that can be read and re-read. I doubt that I will ever tire of them. I love Barker's work even now. He has changed subject matter....he is no longer a horror genre author. His work is more based in fantasy now, however the tales are no less gripping.
So sit back and enjoy this collection and see how long it takes for your skin to crawl.
Don't say you weren't warned...
The Book of Blood -- This is the short little compulsory opening thing, not quite a story, but to big to be called an introduction. It sets up the premise for the rest of the Books of Blood.
The Midnight Meat Train -- A very good story, it sets a good standard for the rest of the stories in the series. Quickly readable, not to long, with enough blood-letting, gruesome images, awesome spectacles and powerful imagery for anyone.
The Yattering and Jack -- This personaly is my favorite story in the volume, though I'm not quite sure why. Straying more towards comedy, it's an entertaining story about a lower demon assigned to drive a man insane. The only problem is that he is so seemingly oblivious to what's going on, the Yattering doesn't know what to do. Fun, funny, light, amusing, interesting. A great story.
Pig Blood Blues -- This one doesn't have any monsters in the classic sense, it's not a slasher story, but it is the most disturbing, scary story in the collection. UGGHH! I don't get nightmares, but I can imagine recieving one from this story.
Sex, Death, and Starshine -- This is an overlong, pointless, boring story filled with sex, profanity, and little else. Maybe I'll like it better when I get older. Time will tell, but at this point, it's worthless. It should have been the closing story, for two reasons. 1) It left me completely uninspired to read the last one, and 2) It had a good last-line-in-a-book type ending.
In the Hills, the Cities -- This is a fun enjoyable story that doesn't work out if you think about it, but if you just accept it and try to visualize it it's pretty darn cool.
Overall, this is a very good book, marred by the second to last story, and the relatively short length. If you like horror stories, I recommend it, but for a better deal buy the collection of the first three books of blood.